Abstract Thinking ► 06 ► [06.04] Bhavana Of Otherness, Of Separation - Discrimination

Posted: 07.10.2006

When an explosion takes place in a sadhak, he attains self-realization. On reaching that stage, he says to himself, "I am not the body." "I am not matter." "There is nothing tangible about me." This is the first stage of spiritual development.

When this situation materializes, the very current of thinking undergoes a change. All infatuation wears off. When a sadhak says, "I am not the body," a new stream of thinking originates, which we call the anupreksha of otherness. When it becomes clear that one is different from one's body, it is such a severe blow to the sense of attachment that the fort of delusion is quite demolished, because delusion originates in the body. Man acts on the basis that the body is all-important. With the breaking of attachment, the wall of delusion erected since the beginning of time gets demolished and it becomes quite clear,

"I am not the body".

With this realization, all our ideas are transformed.

"This body is not mine, I am not the body."

The knot of pride is unravelled. 'This body is not mine" - the sense of 'me' and mine' is dissolved. A man finds a way. Only he finds the way whose sense of 'me' and 'mine' is dissolved.

The body is the starting point of the sense of attachment. When this complex disintegrates, one's path becomes clear. One then knows what one must do. One knows in what direction to move. When pride and attachment - both these complexes dissolve - a new consciousness is born. A new sun arises which had never arisen before. With the arising of this sun, the whole direction of life changes. Can you imagine a man living on the ground of spirituality conduct himself well in practical life? I believe he will do very well, indeed. But how will it come about? Will a man who says, "I am not the body; this body is not mine", not become indifferent to the body? Will he not become quite disillusioned with it, and treat it with contempt? Will such a man be able to get along in life? Will a person who neglects his own body, be attached to his country? Will he be able to discharge his duties and responsibilities? These questions arise naturally, but there is no practical difficulty in meeting them. He, who clearly perceives that he is different from his body, establishes a kind of relationship with his body. This relation has been expressed in different ways. Mahavira said:

"The body is the boat and the soul is the boat man".

The creators of the Upanishads said:

'The body is a chariot and the soul is the charioteer.
The body is a horse and the soul is the horseman".

Can the boatman sailing on the surface of the ocean, ever neglect his boat? He will never do so, let loose on the formidable waves of the ocean, in the midst of deep waters, with his boat the only means of crossing the ocean, will a person be stupid enough to neglect his only means of escape? He will never do so. He will fully safeguard his boat. He will not let any harm come to it.

Now, a person who treats the body and the soul as one takes care of his body. Likewise, a person who treats the body and the soul as distinct from each other, also takes care of his body, so what is the difference between the two? In their concepts and beliefs? There is a great deal of difference. Let us get it right. The boatman takes care of the boat, but does not cling to it. He sees it very clearly that as long as he does not reach the shore, the boat is indispensable for him. The moment he reaches the shore, the boat has little utility for him. No more does it have any significance. However, the man who does not see that the body and the soul are different keeps clinging to the boat even after having reached the shore. He thinks that the boat has helped him reach the shore, why should he abandon it now? He says to himself, "The boat is my life, myself, and I am the boat. I cannot keep away from the boat." So he holds fast to the boat. This cleaving to something is the characteristic of a man who regards the body and the soul as one. The intelligence to treat the boat merely as a device is born in a man when he looks upon the boat as a means to an end and who can give it up when the end is achieved. It cannot be said to be a breach of etiquette.

It is true that the people, who have clung to material objects, have created very great problems. It is this cleaving which has been responsible for all the wars. The body, too, is a material object. He, who clings to the body, clings to everything else as well. On the other hand, man who is not attached to the body is not attached to anything else. The man who is not attached to the body, who treats the body only as a medium of living-such a man has never perpetrated any injustice in the world. Such a man has never created contradiction or conflict, because he treats matter as merely a means, a utility, not something to cling to. What a deal of difference it makes in your life is something you must experience for yourself. One man treats matter as merely a means; the other treats it as something indistinct and inseparable from himself. The sparks that leap up when you treat the body as merely a means to an end. It is often said that one should treat wealth as only a means, that one should not accumulate it. Yet man goes on accumulating wealth. When a man does not look upon the body as a means, how can he treat wealth as such? He might repeat the words, might say that one should treat wealth only as a means, but in fact he will be able to accept this maxim only when he is free from attachment, from the sense of 'me' and 'mine', when he sees the path clearly, when no doubt lurks in his mind, when there is no fear. Only then does one’s understanding mature, and the spectator-approach of a knower and seer develop. Then all storms and ailments disappear.

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